Cockeysville police shooting suspect in custody after eight-hour standoff, Harford County Sheriff’s Office says

The two-day long manhunt for the Baltimore County resident who eluded arrest and shot and injured two police officers in Cockeysville ended early Friday morning when authorities took him into custody miles away in Fallston, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers arrested 24-year-old David Emory Linthicum at 5:43 a.m. “as peacefully as possible” in a stand of woods near the Fallston Mall Shopping Center after an eight hour standoff, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler said.


Authorities say they chased Linthicum from near his home in Cockeysville after he shot a Baltimore County Police detective Thursday evening and stole the detective’s pickup truck.

The events leading to the arrest of 24-year-old David Emory Linthicum stretched over parts of three days and two counties. | Source: Baltimore County Police Department, Harford County Sheriff’s Office

The detective is in critical condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he is on life support, said Dr. Thomas Scalea at a news conference just after midnight Friday.


Officers stopped the truck using spike strips, and Linthicum went into the woods where police hemmed him in, according to the sheriff’s office. Gahler said Linthicum resisted being arrested to a minor degree but was not injured in the process.

Reports initially suggested Linthicum might have had a gun in the woods, but Gahler said officers did not recover a gun, though they did find ammunition. Officers retrieved a rifle and a handgun from the crashed truck.

The standoff drew local, state and federal law enforcement to Fallston. Officers could be heard on loud speakers imploring Linthicum to come out of the woods and turn himself in.

Onlookers gathered in parking lots surrounding the police perimeter, some listening to police scanners awaiting an outcome. Several of the businesses along Belair Road were on lockdown throughout the standoff.

“It eventually culminated in our personnel going hands on with him and physically, after some resistance, placing him into custody,” Gahler said.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office will turn Linthicum, who lives in Cockeysville, over to Baltimore County Police custody, said Gahler, who added that possible charges against him in Harford County are “being discussed.”

On Friday, Baltimore County prosecutors charged Linthicum with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and firearm use, according to court documents.

The saga began Wednesday afternoon when Baltimore County Police went to Linthicum’s home on Powers Avenue just east of York Road after getting a call about a person in crisis there, police said. Once there, officers found Linthicum in the home where he shot at them, injuring one, police said. It’s not clear if police returned fire.


The officer, whose identity police have not released, was released from a hospital Wednesday evening.

Although it is not clear how, Linthicum was able to escape the home and authorities warned neighboring residents that Linthicum was at large, armed and dangerous and asked neighboring residents to shelter in place and to call 911 if they saw him.

As the search dragged on into Thursday morning, Baltimore County Public Schools closed schools in the area for the day.

Linthicum was spotted again Thursday evening about 9:20 p.m., during a “fast, swift encounter” on Warren Road, where he shot a police detective, Interim Baltimore County Police Chief Dennis Delp said. Warren Road is down a hill from Linthicum’s Powers Avenue home, with a wooded area between.

The detective saw Linthicum walking along Warren Road, near Bosley Road, and “engaged” with him, police said. Linthicum then started shooting at the detective with a rifle, hitting him multiple times. It’s not clear if the detective shot at Linthicum.

Delp said Linthicum stole the detective’s vehicle, a Dodge pickup truck, and led police on a chase to Harford County, where he was eventually arrested.


Scalea, Shock Trauma’s chief physician, said at a news conference 12:30 a.m. Friday that the detective is on life support with multiple gunshot wounds in his torso and extremities. Delp said the detective, who police have not named, was wearing a ballistic vest.

“He is going to need a significant amount of reconstruction,” Scalea said, adding that he would be in the hospital for “a while.”

An update on the detective’s condition was not available midday Friday.

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The Powers Avenue house where police were first called Wednesday sits on a narrow street in a quiet neighborhood east of York Road. Beyond the single-family houses are thick woods that lead to Beaverdam Run, a stream that feeds into Loch Raven Reservoir. The home’s driveway leads downhill to the backyard, where a thick grove of bamboo stands.

The Powers Avenue home is the same one where a 15-year-old shot and killed his parents and siblings in 2008, police said.

“Maybe there are dark demons in the house,” said next-door neighbor Ryan Heath.


Linthicum was charged with drug possession with intent to distribute in 2019, according to online court records. He pleaded guilty and received probation before judgment.

The overnight standoff in Fallston also prompted officials to close schools in that area Friday, including Fallston Middle School, Fallston High School and Youth’s Benefit Elementary, Harford County Public Schools said in a news release. Students are not able to use the Fallston High bus depot for magnet programs.

Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly commended law enforcement for their “successful efforts to bring this manhunt to an end early this morning, all while keeping our community safe in the process.”

“Our prayers remain with the injured Baltimore County detective,” he said in a statement.